Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Bacopa: “Power Herb”


Research Based Actions Of Bacopa Monniera

Bacopa is famous for enhancing memory, improving learning skills, for anxiety, stress and depression. Modern studies find it useful in several other ways.

This ayurvedic herb is found useful as anti-oxidant capable of free radical scavenging, preventive for ulcer in stomach and duodenum, as anti-Helicobacter pylori, adaptogen, anti-fungal, for IBS, as Broncho-vasodilator. It can be beneficial in drug toxicities as well.

Bacopa As An Anti-Oxidant:

This medicinal herb is found to extend antioxidant protection for brain centers from Stress. Bacosides are supposed to protect the synaptic functions in the hippocampus of brain which is the seat of memory.

B. monnieri inhibit experimentally induced lipid peroxidation. This oxidation of lipids by free radicals is damaging as it leads to formation of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels. B. monnieri also acts as metal chelator i.e. it removes the excess of harmful metals from blood and thereby limit the propagation of free radicals.

Bacopa & Free Radical Scavenging And Preventing DNA Damage:

In this study B. monniera showed dose dependent free radical scavenging activity and a protective effect on DNA cleavage. This antioxidant activity might reveal partly its anti-stress, immunomodulatory, cognition enhancing, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenative effects.

In another study at University of Catania, Italy, researchers found that at least due to its antioxidant properties it would be useful in treatment of pathologies where free radicals play an important role.

In vitro studies found cytotoxic activity for Sarcoma-180 cells in Saponin fraction of B. monnieri. It might be due to inhibition of DNA replication in cancer cells. Further studies in men are needed to explore this effect.

Preventing Ulceration In Stomach & Duodenum:

In one study on rodents, it was found to be effective to protect the stomach from ulcer formation.

In another study, the administration of B. monnieri was found to prevent ulceration by various offensive and defensive mechanisms by both normal and NIDDM rats. However the effect of B. monnieri was more prominent in normal rats and that of Azadirachta was prominent on NIDDM rats.

In this study B. monnieri was found to augment defensive mucosal factors like increased mucus secretion, prolonged life span of mucus membrane cells and  gastric antioxidant effects. It also showed in vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori activity, and increased in vitro Prostanoids (PGE2, PGI2) that are responsible for its anti-ulcerogenic effect.

Studies on animals and men confirmed its prophylactic and curative role for gastric ulcers. A 20 mg/kg dose for 10 days healed penetrating ulcers, strengthened mucosal barrier and minimized exfoliation of mucus membrane. It was found to be effective in Stress ulcers as well.

Bacopa As Anti-Helicobacter Pylori:

Another in vitro study demonstrated its effect as specific anti-microbial activity against Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori is associated with chronic gastric ulcer. With administration of B. monnieri, PGE and Prostacyclin were also found to accumulate and these are known to be protective for gastric mucosa.

Bacopa As An Adaptogen:

Investigators found in B. monnieri potent adaptogenic property for both acute and chronic stress in rats. Pretreatment with it reduced the acute state induced stress and significantly reduce the chronic stress induced increase in ulcer index and adrenal gland weight like indicators.

In another study at Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, the researchers found B. monnieri to be effective in acute and chronic stress.

Bacopa As Anti-Fungal Agent:

The phytochemicals betulinic acid, wogonin and oroxindin from aerial part of B. monnieri were found to have anti-fungal activity against  Altenaria alternata and Fusarium fusiformis. This study was conducted at CDRI, Lucknow, India.

Bacopa For IBS Or Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

In vitro studies in both animals and man demonstrated direct anti-spasmodic activity on smooth muscles of intestine. This effect was mediated by inhibition of calcium ions influx in cell membranes.

However in another double blind placebo controlled trial on 169 patients with IBS, the effect of B. monnieri and Aegle marmelos was compared to Clinidium bromide, Chlordiazepoxide and Psyllium. The herbal combination was found to be superior in IBS with diarrhea. The benefit was probably more due to A. marmelos. Yet the combined botanicals were far effective than placebo.

Bacopa As Broncho-Vasodialator:

This study concluded that various constituents of B. monniera produced significant broncho-dilatation in anesthetized rats. There was relaxant effect on pulmonary arteries, trachea, aorta and bronchial tissues that was possibly mediated by inhibiting of Calcium ion entry into cell membrane.

Another in vitro study demonstrated B. monnieri to possess potent mast cell stabilizing activity comparable to disodium chromoglycate. These studies strengthened its claim to be effective in Bronchial Asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Bacopa Effects On Cardiovascular System:

There had been no studies in this regard. In vitro studies in rabbits showed vasodilatation effect in pulmonary artery and aorta. In another study there was mild decrease of Systolic blood pressure from an average of 118 mm of Hg to 112 mm of Hg.

Bacopa & Thyroid:

The study on mice demonstrated B. monnieri to be effective  in directly stimulating synthesis or release of T4 at the glandular level. There was no effect on T3. However the dosage was 200 mg/kg/daily and this is far greater than the dose given to man (200 to 500 mg daily). It could not be used in human for increasing the T4 thyroid hormone due to excessive dose requirement.

Bacopa Protection From Drug Toxicity:

B. monnieri can be effective to counteract the side effects of some drugs. In vitro study on guinea pig ileum found it to be effective in drug induced morphine withdrawal. One mg per ml extract was found to reduce the naloxone induced side effects. Other studies suggested this effect to be due to anticholinergic and calcium antagonistic activity.

Another study on rats found it be effective in morphine induced hepatotoxicity as that was measured by lipid peroxide accumulation and antioxidant enzyme levels. The results of this experimentation supported its protective effect on morphine induced toxicity.

Other researchers found similar effects on brain mitochondrial activity of morphine treated rats.

Bacopa Reducing Nociceptive Response:

Nociceptive receptors are the nerve endings that receive and transmit painful stimuli. B. monnieri is found to reduce nociceptive response. This hypersenstivity to pain is found in many somatic and visceral nerves as in Cancer. With other beneficial effects as adaptogen, anti-DNA replication, antioxidant, this herb can be used as adjuvant in treatment of Cancer.

This effect can be useful in headaches that are associated with worry and tension.Add to Bacopa Monniera Benefits along with other herbs…

  1. Memory Enhancing.
  2. Aid In Learning Skills.
  3. Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
  4. Children with ADHD.
  5. Visit Bacopa related pages on this site to get more information about this herbal supplement.
As a native Indian and an Ayurvedic holistic healer, Arjun writes in the lane of herbal healing and home remedies. Certification: BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery With Modern Medicine).

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